Know your consumer rights when buying online

legal services to people
in business

Phone: +353 71 9134513
Mobile: +353 87 6674534

Know your consumer rights when buying online

2 quick actions to check if the retailer is in compliance with rules when selling online:

1. Do the terms and conditions specify a 14 day cooling off period?

2. What cancellation procedure is available online (or in hard copy) to cancel the contract and return the product?

My rights to cancel if I buy online

Case Study

Mary is busy running around on her lunch break on Wednesday.  In a store window she spots a blue dress for €75 that she thinks would be perfect for the summer party. She has no time to call into the store and try the dress on.

That evening while online she checks and finds that the store has an online shopping facility so she searches for the blue dress and luckily they still have it in her size.

The site provides details of the retailer, its telephone and email address and a full description of the product and images of the dress. It also has details of its customer complaints procedure and how to cancel an order. She orders the dress which has a price of €75 plus a delivery charge of €5 payable by the consumer, so she pays €80 in total. She then receives an email confirming her order.

The email confirms that she paid €80 and that she has a 14 day cooling off (cancellation) period to decide on her purchase. The email sets out the details of how she can return the product. The email includes a link to a cancellation form on the website in case she changes her mind about the purchase.

The dress arrives on Friday and Mary eagerly tries it on. Unfortunately it looks completely different on her than she had anticipated. Mary decides that she does not want to keep the dress.

On Monday Mary uses the online cancellation form on the store's website to tell them that she has changed her mind and will be returning the dress and cancelling her purchase.

Mary then has 14 days to return the dress to the store.

Under the terms and conditions that Mary signed up to when she purchased the dress she is responsible for paying the costs of returning the dress. On receipt of Mary's notification of cancellation the store has 14 days to reimburse Mary the €80 to cover both the cost of the dress and the initial delivery charge of the dress that was sent to her. If the shop had not informed Mary of the 14 day cooling off period Mary would have had 12 months to return the dress.


To discuss your online selling obligations or rights please contact us.



Book an appointment Downloads Subscribe Contact Us


The material in this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or taxation advice. Specific legal and taxation advice should be sought before acting. All information and taxation rules are subject to change without notice.

No liability whatsoever is accepted by M. McLoughlin & Co. for any action taken in reliance on the information in this article

Make Appointments

Subscribe to our newsletters

By signing up to the newsletter I consent to the use of my data to receive information relating to services, events, articles and information about the firm.